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Did You Know…

Did You Know... Certain Medications Can Damage Your Hearing?

You may not realize it, but some of the medications you take could be harming your hearing. This is because certain medications are ototoxic, meaning they're toxic to the ear. Ultimately, ototoxic medications can cause balance problems, hearing loss, and ringing in the ear.

Typically, the first of the common ototoxicity signs and symptoms to appear is ringing in the ear, also known as tinnitus.  Tinnitus is a sensation of noise that is heard in one or both ears, even when there is no external source of sound. For some people, tinnitus is a minor annoyance. But for others, it can be quite bothersome and interfere with daily activities.

If ototoxicity isn't treated early on, it can lead to more serious problems, such as hearing loss and balance problems. These problems may be reversed, but in some cases, ototoxicity can cause permanent damage to the ear.

If you think you may be suffering from ototoxicity, it's important to see your doctor right away. However, if your tinnitus or hearing loss persists, visit the audiology experts at Hearing Unlimited. We're dedicated to helping our patients improve their quality of life by providing the best hearing healthcare possible.



Ototoxicity, Hearing Loss & You

Understanding Ototoxicity

There are more than 200 ototoxic medications on the market, including both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Some examples are antibiotics, cancer treatments, diuretics, and certain painkillers. Ototoxicity can occur when you take medications by mouth, through an injection, or topically. It can also occur if you're exposed to certain chemicals, such as some used in chemotherapy.

Though these medications can be helpful in treating serious infections, heart disease, or cancer, they can also be toxic to the sensory cells in the inner ear. When working properly, these sensory cells are used for hearing and balance. But when they're damaged by ototoxic medications, they can no longer function as designed. 

There are a few ototoxic hearing loss prevention measures you can take.  First, if you take ototoxic medications, make sure to tell your doctor about any hearing or balance problems you experience. Also, ask your doctor to use the lowest possible dose of the medication for the shortest amount of time needed to treat your condition. 

In some cases, you may be able to take a different medication that's just as effective but doesn't carry the same risk of ototoxicity. Finally, make sure to have your hearing checked regularly, especially if you take ototoxic medications frequently. This way, any hearing loss that does occur can be detected early on and treated accordingly.

Evidence-Based Solutions

Correcting Hearing Loss With Hearing Aids

A common ototoxicity treatment is to simply stop taking the medication. However, in some cases, this isn't possible or may not be enough to reverse the damage. In these cases, visiting a hearing aid specialist, like those at Hearing Unlimited, is the best course of action. We can help you manage your hearing loss with the latest technology and treatment options.

With hearing aids, you can once again enjoy the sounds of your favorite music, conversations with loved ones, and other activities you may have been missing out on. We offer a wide range of hearing aid brands and styles, from discrete options that are virtually invisible to powerful devices that can help you hear in even the noisiest environments. 

No matter what your hearing needs are, we'll work with you to find the perfect solution. We also offer a variety of other services, such as hearing aid repairs, cleanings, and maintenance. So if you're searching online for "an audiology doctor near me," look no further than Hearing Unlimited!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ototoxicity?

Ototoxicity is the term used to describe damage to the ear caused by certain medications or chemicals. This damage, which may be temporary or permanent, can cause tinnitus, balance problems, and hearing loss. 

Are my ototoxic drugs causing hearing loss?

If you're taking any medications known to be ototoxic and are experiencing hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance problems, it's important to see your doctor right away. Common ototoxic drugs include certain antibiotics, cancer treatments, diuretics, and painkillers. 

How can I protect myself from ototoxicity and hearing loss?

If you take ototoxic medications, there are a few things you can do to protect your hearing. 

  • Tell your doctor about any hearing or balance problems you experience. 
  • Ask your doctor to use the lowest possible dose of the medication for the shortest amount of time needed to treat your condition. 
  • Try to take a different medication that's just as effective but doesn't carry the same risk of ototoxicity. 
  • Have your hearing tested regularly to check for any signs of hearing loss.

How can I get started with the best hearing aid services and top-rated audiologists near me?

Schedule an appointment with Hearing Unlimited! With thorough evaluations and our Hear For Life Program, our patients get the best possible treatment for their hearing loss. We also offer several convenient locations across the Pittsburgh area, so finding an "audiologist near me" is easy!